Whilst in work today I overheard a conversation that frankly pissed me off massively.
The discussion was between two of the women I sit next to, about another colleague, someone I consider a friend.
Our colleague, my friend, has been off of work for a couple of weeks due to her bipolar disorder. I must point out that only certain members of our management team and I know that my friend is bipolar. Today was the first day that she had managed to make it into work for several days, however, I think it was too much for her because by lunch time she had gone home.
When the women I sit next to realised that my friend had gone home again, this sparked a rather ignorant and insensitive conversation between them both, that I caught the last few minutes of.
They were bitching and making assumptions about why my friend had been off work and had gone home again. Some of these comments were very insensitive, to the point they were calling her a waste of breath and space!! This really hit a nerve with me, not only because I am bipolar and I know how hard it must have been for my friend to have even thought about coming into work today, but because she is my friend and they do not know her at all.
What I should have done is stick up for my friend and bring these women down a peg or 2, god knows I had a massive urge to do so. However I didn’t. I didn’t want to cause a scene for my friend for when she feels strong enough to return to work again. It would have made it more difficult for her.
What I would like to do though is say that it is this exact narrow-mindedness, these exact types of people who go around making assumptions about others lives when they know absolutely nothing about them, that make it harder for those of us who have mental illnesses to talk about it all openly and comfortably! Not only that, if my friend had heard such comments it would have massively hinder her progress and set her back several steps.
People really shouldn’t make assumptions.